If you own property in Tarrant County and you wish to divide and develop it using On-Site Sewage Facilities (OSSFs) you will need to get the plat approved by the Public Health Department and the Transportation Services Department prior to it being approved by the Commissioners Court. State law requires that conditions be evaluated as to the suitability of the site if OSSFs are to be used. If you plan to use something other than an on-site system, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) will need to permit the treatment plant.

The rule requiring the review is listed in the TCEQ rules relating to OSSFs:



Chapter 285 On-Site Sewage Facilities


(c) "Review of subdivision or development plans. Persons proposing residential subdivisions, manufactured housing communities, multi-unit residential developments, business parks, or other similar uses and utilizing OSSFs for sewage disposal must submit planning materials for these developments to the permitting authority. The planning materials must include an overall site plan, topographic map, 100-year floodplain map, soil survey, location of water wells, and complete report detailing the types of OSSFs to be considered and their compatibility with area wide drainage and groundwater. A comprehensive drainage and 100-year floodplain impact plan must also be included in these planning materials. Planning materials shall also address potential replacement areas. A response to the submitted planning material from the permitting authority will be provided within 45 days of receipt."



If you do not have any floodplain designated on the property, a written statement to that effect will suffice. If you have floodplain questions, call the County Engineer at 817-884-1173.

We do not require that each individual lot have a site evaluation for overall development approval. Individual site evaluations are required when application for an OSSF is made. We do require that a representative sample be submitted. For example, if a plat is submitted for subdivision with 50 one-acre lots, we will probably require five site evaluations, evenly distributed about the property. Additional evaluations may be required if the USGS Soil Survey indicates extremely variable soils.

It is very important to realize that nearly all of the unincorporated land in Tarrant County falls within the Extra Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) of existing cities. An ETJ is an area outside of a city's limits where the city is allowed to require subdivisions to meet minimum city requirements. As such you must also be approved by the city that has ETJ authority. In Tarrant County, the cities of Azle, Crowley, Fort Worth, Haslet, Kennedale and Mansfield have ETJ areas. If you call our office, 817-321-4960, we can help you determine if this applies to your property and which city to contact.

To submit a development for Health Department review you will need the following items:

  • A letter describing the overall project and the type of development planned
  • Overall plan showing the layout and the dimensions of each lot (minimum lot size is one acre net after subtracting flood plain and drainage easements)
  • A topographic map
  • Any flood plain must be shown (if none is on the property, a written statement will suffice)
  • Representative site evaluations
  • Location of any existing water wells or OSSF's on, or within 100 feet of, the property
  • A description of how surface drainage problems will be handled (if applicable).

Send report to:

Tarrant County Public Health
Environmental Health Division
1101 South Main St., Suite 2300
Fort Worth, Texas 76104